tv The Ed Show MSNBC June 22, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EDT
but course when it is ready being customized for him, he will get it for free. because it is good to be pope. his pending new mobile is the best new thing in the world today. now it is time for "the ed show." good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show." tonight from new york, breaking news off the top tonight. the huffington post has learned michele bachmann congresswoman from minnesota will officially launch her campaign for president next week in her home state of iowa. and we'll have more on that story obviously. the rich are getting richer and while you're working harder and republicans, you know, they're just okay with all of that. while they work to take away the social safety net, they continue to say taxi job creators is off limits. what are the democrats doing? i have a suggestion for them tonight. it's official. let's get to work. president obama is expected
to announce plans to reduce troops in afghanistan. but will it be enough to satisfy his base? we'll talk with congressman peter welch and filmmaker robert greenwalt who has been in afghanistan about bringing the troops home. scott walker plans to dismantle medicaid without offering wisconsinites a chance to have their voices heard. he is laughing it up on cnbc. and in psycho talk tonight -- >> how can we be a people that fight for america if we don't know who america is or what we're all about? >> presidential candidate rick santorum is blaming liberals for children's' poor test scores in u.s. history. he's in the zone tonight. great to have you with us on "the ed show" tonight. it to you last night, we'll start it out again tonight, this is everything you need to know about america. and i challenge any state representative or any senator of any state legislative body
across america to come here and stand on this platform with me and you know what i'm going to do? i am going to pay your way to new york city. all you have to do is contact our producers and say that you want to be on "the ed show" and explain to me in front of our audience tonight how this graph is good for america because, folks, this is all factual stuff right here. tell me how the wage earner in america, which is the blue line, and the productivity of the american worker is the green line, and the top income earners of america is the red line. tell me how that is good for america. i want any republican to explain how 30 years of wage stagnation and 80% improvement in productivity by workers and the ridiculous growth in income for the top 1% has made this country better. no republican, i don't think, can do this. none of them ever talk about this.
none of them ever bring it up and say this is where we want america to go. no republicans have the guts to look at the american people in the eye and explain this chart is really good for everybody. instead, they fill the airwaves with lies like this. >> we can't tax the very people we expect to reinvest in our economy and to create jobs. >> it is just foreign to most people to think that we're going to address our problems by raising taxes on the very people we expect to jump back into the game to create jobs. >> we will never have real economic growth if we're going to raise taxes on those in america who create jobs. >> see, now you've heard all of those sound bites from the republicans in washington. so the reason why i'm making this offer tonight to a state representative or a state senator from any of the 50 great states of america is because i want something different. i want the republicans to come out and give me something different.
they want the white house, the house, the senate. they want the whole enchilada. they want everything. but they always come up with the same bs. so maybe if we got a state senator from the great state of kentucky to come up here, the state of new york, to explain to all of us or maybe we can find somebody from west virginia that might be able to explain how this is good for america, can't do it. we have to go i guess into the heartland and maybe find somebody. i'm serious about this. i personally will write the check for you or for a plane ticket, for hotel, and i'll even go to dinner with you. i know you'll really be excited about that if you're a righty. but, folks, i'm not making this stuff up. this is where wage earners have been in this country for the last 30 years. this is what american workers have done in productivity in the last 30 years, an increase of 80%.
and this is the red line. you ever wonder is your kid going to be a red liner or a blue liner? if you're a working american, and you believe in recycled push economic theory, no offense, but i think you need your head examined. the one percenters in the red line have hammered the americans in the blue lines for 30 years. republicans, i don't think they give a damn. if you work 50, 60, or 70 hours a week to survive and pay the bills. where have your bills gone in the last 30 years? we are living still, unfortunately, in the greediest generation in the history of this country and these numbers right here prove it. the top 1%, think about it, if the top 1%, if they were the job creators, based on what this is right here, hell, we ought to have record employment. not record unemployment. you see, they've been lying to us for years about how the job creators are going to reinvest
their tax dollars back into the economy. for republicans this red line, just remember one thing about the republicans. this red line will never be high enough for them. the blue line right here? the wage earners? you take their finger and they just put it right on top of them and they squish them and that line right there? that'll never be low enough. that's their whole philosophy. all the money goes to the top. break up the unions. crap on the working folk of america. go after firefighters. go after teachers. go after nurses. go after your right to collectively bargain in the work place. just butcher the entire economy because as long as they've got this red line and as long as that baby is going this way, they can have all the political influence in the world. that's what's wrong with this country. and that's why washington is broken because they cannot reverse this. the same time democrats i think need to wake up and remember
just who they're fighting for. there should be no negotiation with conservatives. this is undoubtedly an ideological war. what do you believe in? what do you believe in? do you want to turn to your son and daughter as they go off to college some day and say, hey. look what you have to look forward to. you're a blue liner. this is what you have to look forward to. if you end up in the top 1%. this is income stagnation right here. and the tax policies we have in this country have led us this way for years. but you know what? they want more out of the workers. we have the most educated, trained force in america. don't we? and so we want to keep them down. now, how do we fight? i love this piece of tape. i can't get enough of this guy. it's unfortunate that he left us way too early because i think he would fight like this. >> what is the price we ask the other side.
what is the price that you bought from these working men and women? what cost? how much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business? how many billion dollars more are you asking, are you requiring? when does the greed stop? >> ted kennedy, 2007 on the senate floor. does it play tonight? does it play in 2011? does it play in 2012 and 2013 and 2014? you better believe it does. because he had a philosophy and the democrats used to have a philosophy that a rising tide lifts all boats. but now we're playing with all these graphs and lines fan the charts don't go this way for the red liners we're not a very good country anymore and the republicans aren't doing anything to turn the job market around. they are obstinate. they are obstructionist.
and all they care about is defeating president obama. when is the worm going to turn for the democrats? president obama and the democrats need to show that kind of fire that you just saw from the 2007 tape of senator kennedy. they need to call republicans out daily on their greed because you know what? that graph isn't going to change. those are facts. that's not theory. those are numbers. if you are in business and your bean counter came into the office and said, boss, look where we're going, would you say oh, you're making that up? no. that's real stuff. the american worker can't survive another 30 years or even another 30 seconds of republican economics. the blue liners need an idea of what voucher care is going to be instead of medicare. chris christie, another cultural republican taking a chopper ride.
can you fly that across the hudson river and come into the studio and talk to me because nobody else will ask you about this graph. take your five grand out of the pocket of every employee and lining the pockets of the red liners in your state? you're right in lock step with what the boys want you to do in washington. any one of the republican 2012 candidates has an open invitation to stand here and talk about shared sacrifice and what it really means. none of them can do it. we as liberals and we as independent voters if you're in that arena, you have to realize that this is who they are. they're never going to change. republicans are trying to scare us right now about the debt ceiling and unfunded mandates. and they basically are banking on the fact that you're stupid and not paying attention to what the hell is going on. americans do care about having a job, filling their tank up, and giving their kids a better life than they had.
if these lines keep heading in this direction how in the world is the american dream going to be revitalized? we have in this country right now income disparity that we have never seen before. and that graph is all about income disparity. and i need one of these republicans from any of the 50 states. if you're a state legislator, just contact our producers here at nbc for "the ed show." we'll bring you in here. i need you to explain this graph to me. i'm selfish. i want to know. i'm sure the audience wants to know, too. but i want to know. because you see that graph has done nothing when it comes to disposable income. nowhere on that blue line down at the bottom does it say that there's been an increase in disposable income for american families and that's why our economy is thriving. no it's not thriving. it's a little bit better than it was before president obama took over. no question about that. we're headed in the right direction. but if you don't have disposable
income, how is the economy going to turn around? and if we have these wall street barons and these -- in the financial sector sitting on $2 trillion worth of assets and hanging on because they want to see president obama lose the election because they're all about power, how are we going to turn this around? so get your cell phones out. i have a very profound question for you tonight. if you're a parent, if you are a parent, do you think your child will be a red liner or a blue liner? text a for red, text b for blue. 622639 is the number. you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. bring the results later on in the show. joining me now is independent senator from vermont, bernie sanders. senator, great to have you with us tonight. why aren't democrats screaming about the income disparity and here we are hung up in hedge row country talking about a debt ceiling that doesn't mean a damn
thing when it comes to jobs. your thoughts, senator? >> well, you're right. there is -- some of us are screaming and some of us have made the point that the united states now, ed, has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth. we're looking at the top 1% earning 22% of all income in america, more than the bottom 50%, and here is another fact, ed, that you should put up there on your charts. and that is the top 400 wealthiest people in this country, wealth, own more wealth than the bottom half of america, about 150 million people. during a recent 25-year period 80% of all income made in this country went to the top 1%. >> so the republicans, have they done anything to turn this around in your opinion? >> quite the contrary.
what they have done is fought for huge tax breaks for the very wealthiest people in this country. what they have fought for along i have to say with some democrats is a trade policy which allows large corporations to throw american workers out on the street, move to china, bring your products back into this country, which results in the decimation of our manufacturing sector. what the republicans are very clearly doing is representing the very wealthiest people in this country and they could care less about anybody else. unfortunately, because of the nature of our campaign finance system, there are too many democrats also hooked up to big money and are not standing up for working families or the middle class. >> now, when you look at the debt ceiling conversation that's going on, they want more cuts if they're going to agree to anything. and the cuts that they are attacking right now are on the blue liners.
i mean, all of these wage earners in america who are being asked to do more by these republican governors and give up more, they're all blue liners. you know, the breaks are still going to the red liners. >> the problem we have is the republican proposal is so outrageous that literally people don't believe you when you tell them. they don't believe you when the republicans, when you tell them that the republicans want to end medicare as we now know it, shift the cost back on to senior citizens, give them an $8,000 check, and say go get a private insurance company to take care of your needs. good idea. you may be lucky to stay in the hospital for two or three days. slash medicaid. slash education. slash nutrition. slash the environmental protection agency, etcetera, etcetera. by the way, as part of that proposal, despite the fact that the rich are getting richer while the middle class is going to collapse, you know what we're going to do, ed?
we're going to give another trillion dollars in tax breaks to the very wealthiest people in this country. >> that's exactly what they want to do. they want to cut the corporate and the personal income tax rate. another 10%. and i said that in the commentary. the red line? it ain't high enough. and the blue line can never be low enough. >> there is no end to their greed and if we don't begin to stand up and stop it, in a very forceable way, there is not going to be a middle class left in this country. >> vermont senator bernie sanders great to have you with us again tonight here on "the ed show." thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. i want to know what you think. president obama is set to announce a troop withdrawal from afghanistan. some are worried that withdrawal is too big. others say it's not enough. we'll tell you what it might mean for the president's political future. and later, "the ed show" makes a major announcement on how we can all join together and save american lives.
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we have breaking news tonight. the huffington post has learned michele bachmann congresswoman from minnesota will officially launch her campaign for president next monday in iowa. bachmann, you can't deny it. she is a cable sensation because of her wacky sound bites and she knows how to get attention. folks, i think michele bachmann is perfectly positioned to win the republican nomination. tell me where she's weak. tell me where she's weak. she is rock solid with the tea party crowd. she has the support of the christian right. she is in with the constitutionals. she can raise money like a bandit. okay? and she has no problem and absolutely no reservation when it comes to attacking the president of the united states. this is what republicans want. bachmann believes everything she
says no matter how crazy it sounds. >> i want to make a promise to everyone watching tonight, as president of the united states i will not rest until i repeal obama care. the promise, take it to the bank, cash the check. i'll make sure that happens. >> she will not rest until she repeals the health care bill. it will be her top priority. see, she speaks with definition. i think bachmann is everything the republican party is about. and she has mitt romney just squawking in his boots, no question about it. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want,
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good to have you back with us here on "the ed show." when president obama took office in 2009 he doubled, he doubled the number of american combat brigades in afghanistan. later that year he announced a surge of 30,000 additional u.s. troops with the condition that they begin to withdraw in july of 2011. with his own deadline just a month away, president obama will address the nation tomorrow night to announce a draw down that is expected to bring 5,000 troops home tomorrow and 5,000 troops home by the end of next spring. also according to senior u.s. defense officials the president is also considering recalling an additional 20,000 troops by late 2012 or early 2013. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan, general david
petraeus, recommended a more limited withdrawal. outgoing defense secretary robert gates also said he favored a modest reduction. but the political pressure for substantial troop withdrawal is already starting to crop up. yesterday for the first time since vietnam the united states conference of mayors passed a resolution calling for an end to current u.s.-led wars. the wording of the resolution actually focuses on bringing the troops home to help create jobs and save money. the resolution is asking congress to end the wars as soon as strategically possible and bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, and reduce our federal debts. joining me tonight democratic congressman peter welch of vermont. also with us tonight, robert greenwalt the founder and president of brave new films and the producer of the documentary "rethink afghanistan." good to have you with us tonight. congressman, you first. where do you stand on this announcement?
is it just a smidgeon of a drawdown? does it satisfy you? how do you think democrats are going to respond to it? >> well, it is really not enough. let's go back to where we went into afghanistan. it was, one, to get osama bin laden. mission accomplished. two, to degrade and disrupt al qaeda. mission accomplished. then our mission morphed into nation building and that's when we had the doubling of the troops and then0the surge. president obama went from 34,000 to 100,000 troops. that's in pursuit of a policy of nation building which makes no sense when you have a dispersed and decentralized threat. terrorists are not centered in afghanistan. they're in various parts of the world. so it really makes no sense to have a nation building strategy. if the president tomorrow night announces a change from nation building to counterterrorism, then the troops strength would be measured according to what was required in order to accomplish that goal. it's way, way below i think what
the president is talking about. >> mr. greenwalt, is this a political move or is it a strategic move and where does it match up with where the american people are? >> well, the administration and the politicians for the most part in washington are far, far behind the american people. 72% of the american people now believe we're fighting two new wars and most importantly, ed, these wars are not making us safer and people don't believe they are. so how we continue to spend $2 billion every single week on the war in afghanistan really defies logic. if you ask anybody, no one has a real explanation. well the only reason we're there is because we there. so we need to all be much more aggressive and assertive in telling elected officials you work for us. get the troops out. >> congressman welch, is this going to be a political problem for the president? i've taken phone calls on my radio show. base democrats think this has
gone way too far. they've said they aren't going to campaign for the president or work hard for him. they feel they've been let down because he said he would end this stuff. now this is not a very big number. maybe it'll be a bigger number tomorrow. your thoughts? >> it could be a politic! problem. what we're seeing in congress is the republicans are getting the message. they are strongly against this, some for fiscal reasons, $2 billion a week is just more money than we can or should spend. others from the national security question, why are we nation building when by the way the karzai government is corrupt, ineffective, and calls our soldiers who are over there dying occupiers. there is a bipartisan coalition that's developing here. you could see that one of the republican presidential candidates gain a lot of traction by saying we've got to be much more aggressive on paying attention at home. >> mr. greenwald, if there is a bipartisan feeling out there about ending this operation in afghanistan, why is the president reluctant to not bring home a massive amount of troops?
like 50 or 60,000 now? >> well, you know, something about wars, ed, and washington, d.c., vietnam, iraq, now afghanistan. the people in d.c. and the think tanks who bear responsibility for creating a bipartisan ideology, where they believe in these wars. they start to sign up for them. but that's where i think this wonderful, wonderful thing called democracy works and i'm hearing from people also, ed, on my twitter, facebook, and it's the same message, which is we elected a democrat. we want the wars to end. and how, how can you spend a million dollars on one troop for one year and you're firing teachers and getting rid of policemen? it profoundly makes no sense. >> well, i think this resolution by the mayors of this country speaks volumes about where the people are in this country. they're going home. they're hearing it on main street. congressman, speaking of wars do you believe president obama needs congressional authority to do what we're doing in libya?
>> yes, i absolutely do. to say it's not hostilities when you're spending upwards of a billion dollars, when you're doing extensive bombing, literally trying to take out gadhafi,0tm are hostilities and the war powers act is about congressional authority and whether the decision about committing our men and women and our money to hostilities is going to be a decision made by congress. >> and finally, congressman, i want to ask you. this low number seems like a political move and not a strategic move. >> well, that is exactly right, ed. this strategic question is do we double down or continue on this policy of nation building. that's the question and what we have to watch for in the president's announcement. >> congressman peter welch of vermont and also filmmaker robert greenwald, great to have you with us tonight. >> thank you. wisconsin governor scott walker has already shown us he doesn't care what the people say. now he's getting ready to cut state health programs without hearing from the public first. and rick santorum comes out with
a new conspiracy theory. he's saying liberals don't want your kids to learn about u.s. history. santorum gets a one way ticket into the zone. >> ( rooster crows ) >> by 2020, 50 billion network devices will roam the earth. that's seven devices per person. this will change how we work in ways we've never before imagined. what do you need to secure your people, their devices, and your business?
getting worse. last week the state legislature gave walker the power to cut wisconsin's medicaid program by nearly $500 million. picking on the poor folks again and the elderly. the program and related services cover roughly 1 million people in need in the state of wisconsin. republican lawmakers not only turned all budget power over to walker. they also eliminated a requirement that the state hold public hearings on any cuts to health programs. remember, this legislature loves to do walker's bidding by silencing those who oppose him. so they have no say in it. just ask democratic state congressman peter barka. he was ignored when he tried to enforce the state's open meetings laws during the passage of the governor's union busting bill. >> this is clearly a violation of the open meetings law. you've been shutting people down. it is improper for you to move forward while this is a
violation of the open meetings law. you're not allowing amendments and that is wrong. mr. chairman, this is a violation of law. this is not just a rule. it is the law. >> we're adjourned. >> mr. chairman, this is a violation of the open meetings law. >> so nothing has changed. governor walker and republican lawmakers don't want to hear from the people but walker sure likes hearing the sound of his own voice. he cohosted "squawk box" on cnbc this morning for a full two hours. don't worry, governor. you'll have plenty of time to host tv shows after the voters of wisconsin boot you the hell out of office. coming up another victory for big business. another blow to the american worker. the fallout continues over the supreme court's decision to side with walmart. last year with your help the national association of free clinics helped thousands of americans get the care they
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it has been 15 months since president obama signed the affordable care act, the health care bill. and while republicans claim that it's turned us into a socialist country, signs that it hasn't improved care for many are still everywhere in this country. in north carolina a man walked into a bank on june 9th to rob it. unlike most thieves his goal wasn't money but health care. handing the teller a note that read, this is a bank robbery. please only give me $1. he was arrested and charged with bank robbery and now as a ward of the state hopefully he will get the care he needs. we at msnbc have been very aware of the need for health care reform in our country and we did
a lot on it last year. i attended five of the seven health care clinics paid for by you, our wonderful viewers of msnbc. the money you donated helped give care to over 13,000 patients, care that they would have not otherwise have received. tonight we are happy to announce that msnbc and "the ed show" will be raising money for yet another clinic. this one will be held in new orleans again on august 29th. joining me tonight is the executive director of the national association of free clinics and of course we will tell all of our viewers here in just a moment how you can donate. nicole, great to have you with us tonight. it's a heavy lift. it's a generational lift to do something to bring 50 million americans into the health care process but have things gotten any better and are the challenges still there? >> well, thank you so much for having me. i can tell you from the front
lines the challenges are still there and actually i think they may even be greater than what we've seen in the past. across the country free clinics are seen, even record numbers. we're getting to the point where we have to turn people away. we have patients coming up and telling me 2014 is too long to wait. nicole, i'm going to die. i'm not going to make it then. it's heart breaking. there is something we have to do. health care should be a right and not a privilege. >> we're going back to new orleans obviously. the city was hit hard with katrina and they lost a major hospital there. what kind of needs are you going to be facing in new orleans? >> it is going to be amazing on both sides. from our patients we're going to see people who haven't been to the doctor since we were there last year. imagine that. they haven't had the opportunity to see a doctor since last year. and on the volunteer side we're going to need people to come from all over the country to help us hold this clinic because as you mentioned, katrina hit them hard.
we lost doctors, nurses, a hospital. there is still so much rebuilding that needs to be done even though they've worked so hard to do it. >> and what do you do at the clinics? i've been there. i've seen it. i want to, you know, tell us, tell our viewers what do you do at these clinics? how do you turn it around for some of these folks? >> well, it's been amazing. i think the biggest number i say is we've stopped seven suicides. that's amazing to me. people walking up and giving us pills and knives and saying if you all weren't here i wouldn't -- i would have ended my life today. we turned a convention center floor into the biggest doctor's office in america. we give people that one-on-one time with practitioners. so that they can get a handle on their health. we do everything from ekgs to blood glucose testing and anything you can think about in between. if there is an emergency situation, we get those people straight to the doctor. but most importantly, what we do is we connect those patients with the free clinics and the community health centers that are in that area that can help them on a daily basis after we
leave town. >> i mean, at these clinics i personally ran into people who hadn't seen a doctor in ten years. >> exactly. >> i ran into single moms with kids that had never been to a doctor in their life, hadn't been to a hospital or doctor since the day they were born. now it's going to take money and we're asking our viewers tonight to help out. it's going to be august 29th in new orleans, the free clinic, and you've added a new way to donate. explain this to us. >> well, what we've done, you can go to free clinics.u.s. and donate but we've made it really easy. get your cell phone, text the word "health" to 50555 and there will be a $10 donation to the national association of free clinics to help us hold this clinic in new orleans. >> thanks for your work. thanks for what you do to provide care for these people in need. we're glad to be there with you and we'll talk to you more about it through the course of all of this coverage and helping out the folks in new orleans in august.
to donate please go to free clinics.us. or you can get the link through our website at ed.msnbc.com. in addition get your cell phones out and as nicole said you can text health to 50555. and donate $10. it would be much appreciated. we'll talk more about the health condition of this country as we move forward going into free health clinic. rick santorum is starting to sound like glenn beck with his conspiracy theories. he says liberals are preventing students from learning history. psycho talk coming up. [ boy ] new chips ahoy! chewy gooeys had sparked a battle and we'd stop at nothing until they were ours. surrender the chewy gooeys! [ male announcer ] new chips ahoy! chewy gooeys filled to perfection with delicious creamy fudge; every cookie is crammed with joy!
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his former boss president barack obama. the former governor of utah and until recently ambassador to china announced his intentions at a heavily choreographed event at liberty state park in new jersey. it's the same location where ronald reagan launched his presidential bid in 1980. cool, huh? but huntsman doesn't seem to have the gipper's same kind of polish. as politico put it, the near universal word used by observers of jon huntsman's declaration this morning was "bland." to make matters worse the event was attended by more reporters than supporters. and those reporters were handed a press pass that had the candidate's name misspelled. huntsman does not spell his first name with an "h." on top of all that, the location of the announcement was identified as new york even though the event was in new
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psycho talk tonight presidential hopeful rick santorum has uncovered yet another liberal conspiracy theory. a couple weeks ago he said climate change was a liberal scheme. now he thinks we're going after american history. a recent report suggested only 12% of high school seniors are proficient in u.s. history and santorum says it's all the liberals' fault. >> america is a very young country. our memory is very short. as a result, we don't know, my goodness, we don't even know our own history. this is in my opinion a conscious effort on the part of
the left who has a huge influence on our curriculum to desensitize america to what american values are so they're more pliable to the new values they would like to impose on america. >> so much for job talk. huh? i mean is this what this guy is talking about on the road? liberals are the ones distorting american history? let me remind you, sir, it was conservatives down in texas who voted to remove thomas jefferson from their curriculum and add phyllis shafly. rick if you want americans to know more about history i suggest you start with the history buffs in your own party. >> what i love about new hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. you're the state where the shot was heard around the world at lexington and concord. >> where paul revere hung out as a teenager. he who warned the british that they weren't going to be taking
away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots. >> for santorum to say liberals are intentionally keeping studen in the dark about u.s. history so they can impose their agenda is delusional psycho talk. walmart brags about its low prices but what about its low, low wages? the fall out continues with the supreme court's decision to side with big business over the american worker. next. [ male announcer ] this...is the network --
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gingrich is getting tremendous response wherever he goes. people are very excited about having an option of voting for a candidate who is actually putting forward bold solutions. so bold everybody wants to work for him. some people may be excited about voting for newt but most people are more excited about voting for someone else. gingrich came in at just 6% in the latest nbc news poll. he's six points behind the godfather's pizza candidate but newt is still trying to salvage whatever it may be left of his campaign. he is heading to iowa on thursday, probably to hire staff in a tough economy. nothing helped me beat arthritis pain.
and finally tonight the supreme court's right wing majority handing yet another victory to big business. and this time the winner is walmart. the losers, the american worker. i'll tell you why. more specifically, 1.5 million women who worked at the chain since 1998. and as i said last night, this is an unprecedented attack on workers' rights coming from our nation's highest court, the supreme court. the female employees allege that they were paid and promoted less than their male counterparts at walmart. the court unanimously decided that the case was too large and in a 5-4 decision split along ideological lines the court ruled that the workers did not prove that walmart had a general
policy of discrimination. the plaintiffs in the decade-long case, well, they say they're not giving up. but now they have to fend for themselves and pursue individual lawsuits. as a "new york times" editorial points out, without a class action, it will be very difficult for most of the women potentially affected to pursue individual claims. the average wages lost per year for a member of the rejected walmart class are around $1,100. too little to give lawyers an incentive to represent such an individual. joining me tonight is the founder and chief education officer of the movement vision lab sally cohn. great to have you with us tonight. women are in this story and many of them feel that there is undoubtedly discrimination that's gone on here. what's their recourse now? >> the supreme court hasn't left them with much. the women in this case aren't the only ones. walmart's own internal memos
made clear that these women were being discriminated against. two-thirds, two-thirds of walmart employees are women. one-third of managers, which is lower than the average in the retail industry. walmart knew it. the women knew it. the supreme court justices said it's not a problem. >> bigger picture here. what does this really mean? >> this is a disastrous decision for two reasons. first of all it lets big business off the hook. basically if you read the court's decision the same exact thing that happened to a small business, no question it would have been discriminatory. again, even walmart's own internal memo said something is fishy here. but what the court basically said is walmart is too big to sue. they knew it was wrong but they let their managers have discretion. there is 1.5 million walmart employees who are female and affected and they said too big. not our problem. >> dangerous precedent set no doubt. is this a game changer for workers in america in your opinion? >> it is. i should actually say it's a game changer for all of america. the second thing that the court did is say that bias isn't our
problem either. that, you know, if you have a specific piece of paper that says we're going to discriminate against women then that's illegal. but come on. we know that racism, sexism, that these forms of bias that have always plagued our country continue to impact workers. the supreme court said, not our problem. >> in your opinion what does it mean for a class action lawsuit moving forward? >> you know, the supreme court, and i shouldn't say the whole court obviously but the five -- >> split right down --. >> they are the injustices of the supreme court. they have violated. they are the ones upholding justice. they've created huge -- they've changed court precedence and the way the civil rights laws have been interpreted for decades. you know, to serve a pro business agenda. it's disastrous. >> what do you have to do to prove discrimination in the work
place? >> they're saying you have to have someone who came up to you and said hey i'm going to discriminate against you because you are a woman or something that overt. the american people aren't stupid. we know discrimination takes lots of more subtle and often implicit forms. but apparently the supreme court, at least those five justices at the head of it, didn't quite get that message. >> how does a walmart employee if that is their only job go legal, what is their legal recourse now? they don't have the resources to do it as the "new york times" pointed out. >> you are exactly right. the barriers for individual plaintiffs to try and raise these cases are, unfortunately, going to be too high. i hope that there are a lot of lawyers who will step up to take these cases but, unfortunately, it's it's just downhill for here for workers in america. >> sally kohn of the movement vision lab thanks for your time. i asked you tonight do you think your child will be a red liner or a blue liner? 13% of you said yes.